Software developers are the creatives behind software programs. They have the technical skills necessary to create software that performs specific tasks such as playing a game, watching a movie, or building a spreadsheet. Software developers are responsible for designing and writing the code used to build operating systems, mobile apps, video games, and more. Developers are responsible for analyzing the needs of software users and designing, testing, and building software programs, outlining the necessary code in models and diagrams, maintaining and testing software functions, and documenting the information needed for upgrades and maintenance.
Learn a programming language
A successful career in software development starts by building a foundation in programming languages. Some of the most common languages include Java, Python, C++, and Scala. Java is an all-purpose common app programming language used to develop server-side applications and mobile apps. Python is considered the easiest programming language to master. This object-oriented language is versatile and used in scripting, development, and data analysis. C/C++ are popular languages for system programming. Scala is an advanced programming language that blends functional and object-oriented programming concepts.
Earn a degree or take courses
Not all software development jobs require a bachelor’s degree; however, earning an undergraduate degree helps you build technical skills that will lead to more career opportunities. When looking for an undergraduate program, consider a major that emphasizes development skills in software engineering, computer science, or information technology.
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Start practicing in your niche
Once you learn your programming languages of choice, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Practicing development is key to gaining a sound understanding of the development process. The more you practice, the more productive, efficient, and accurate you will be. Practicing your passion for development will help you discover what areas of software development are a good fit for your strengths and career goals.
Develop both your technical and nontechnical skills
There are several technical skills that software developers need to develop. These include learning SQL, the language that powers database engines, source control systems like Git and Mercurial SCM, and integrated development environments. You’ll also need to hone nontechnical skills. You’ll need strong communication skills so you can give project instructions, explain how things work, and answer client questions. A strong developer is also creative, detail-oriented, and has great problem-solving skills.
Certify your skills
You can make yourself a more attractive job applicant by certifying your skills. Certifications validate your skills and demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers. As you advance your career, you’ll want to continue earning certifications in topics such as data security, cloud computing, and data management.
Keep these tips in mind when preparing for a career in software development.